When my parents divorced, my mom elected to stay in the house so that I could continue to live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school. It may have been the same house, but it sure experienced a transformation after my dad moved out. The dark wood was painted white. Old wallpaper was removed and replaced with pastel print. Out went the heavy and masculine and in came the flowers and fancy scrollwork. When pink floral pillows were placed on the pale blue sofa, I think I even made the comment, “It looks like Laura Ashley threw up in here.”
At the time, the redecoration seemed a bit extreme to me. I didn’t comprehend the obsession with change or the drive to find the perfect painting. I didn’t understand it then. But I do now.
My situation was different than my mom’s. I left the marital house behind along with everything it contained. For a year, redecorating was the furthest thing from my mind as I lived in a rented room with borrowed supplies. That green flannel comforter may not have to my taste, but it soaked up my tears without complaint.
That spring, I was looking forward to moving into my new space, an apartment down the road from my new boyfriend.
And that’s when the decorating bug hit. I fell in lust with a colorful woven throw from Cost Plus and, after much debate, purchased it even though I did not yet have a place to put it (or even the funds to buy it). I soon started making lists (and spreadsheets) of what I wanted to fill my new space. My list had to be practical; when you don’t even own a towel, you can’t spend too much money on decorations. But it was still my list. My space.
And, like my mom many years before, I grew obsessed. My status had changed. My heart had changed. My life had changed.
And my home needed to reflect that change.
Even though I had loved the oversized, dark furniture in my old home, I gravitated towards smaller-scale white pieces this time around. I introduced some floral prints, although not quite to the Laura Ashley puke standard.
It was sparse. It was clean. It was new.
It was uncluttered of stuff and of memories.
And it was mine.
Change begets change.
And divorce begets redecorating.
Whether it be our homes, our hair, our wardrobes or our lives.
Out with the old and in with the new.